What’s New this Summer in Clay County, FL

The summer season is heating up to be a busy time for residents and visitors of Clay County, Florida. From new restaurants and a brewery to history tours, new shops and unique events, learn where families can experience a getaway with local flavor and plenty of fun too.
Here’s a look at what’s already on tap for Clay County in the Summer 2024 season – 

 New Brewing Company in Fleming Island

Barley & Pie Brewing Company has opened its first location in Clay County’s Fleming Island neighborhood on June 1, 2024. Co-founded by Clay County resident Philip Maple, former brew master of Jacksonville’s Wicked Barley Brewing Company, this is Fleming Island’s first craft brewery. The brewery is home to 20 taps and features a full liquor bar. In addition to drinks, Barley and Pie serves food and is North Florida’s first sourdough neo-Neapolitan pizzeria. www.barleyandpie.com

Fleming Island Cuban Bistro Now Open

Fleming Island welcomes the arrival of the 1928 Cuban Bistro. Located across from Fleming Island High School, this quaint café serves breakfast and lunch with favorites such as Cuban empanadas, Cuban coffee and pastries too. Choose from a variety of sandwiches, rice plates and don’t forget Tres Leches and Guava cake for dessert!

With numerous locations across Northeast Florida, 1928 Cuban Bistro is a welcome addition to the growing food scene in Clay County!

Aerial View of Clay County Regional Sports Complex

New Regional Sports Complex in Clay County 

Clay County is proud to announce the addition of new Clay County Regional Sports Complex, located one mile north of the SR 16 and SR 21 intersection. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 5, 2024 with elected officials and Clay County leaders on hand to mark the occasion.

The property consists of 250 acres with phase one of the complex home to eight multipurpose fields, lighting, a walking trail, shade structures, ample parking, and restroom facilities. Each rectangular field is equipped for soccer, lacrosse, flag football, field hockey, spike ball, and ultimate frisbee.

While initial field use will be reserved for tournament usage, there are plans to eventually welcome local groups for weekday, recreational practices. 

The future development of the sports complex will take place in phases. The County received $3 million in legislative matching funds and an additional $2.5 million in legislative appropriations in 2023. County leaders broke ground on March 28, 2023.

This is a public/private partnership to acquire and develop Phase 1 of the property. The park is operated and maintained by Clay County. More phases of the park are already in the planning stages.

Past events at the complex include the Jacksonville Jaguars Flag Football competition in April 2024, The Scorch Challenger Roundnet Tournament featuring hundreds of participants in June 2024 and the Florida Sunshine State Games Ultimate with two days of competition in June 2024.

Upcoming events include the United Flag Football League’s (UFFL) tournament October 26-27, 2024 and the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association has also booked the Clay County Regional Sports Complex for events in December 2024.

For the latest sports complex news, go to http://claycountygov.com/regionalsportscomplex.

For those interested in renting the park for a tournament, please contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (904) 284-6378 or via email at

History Passport Interactive Tour Cover Photo

History Passport Tour Now Available on the Explore Clay App

The Clay County History Passport Tour is an interactive tour inviting visitors and residents to discover the stories of 25 historic locations in Clay County, Florida. Located on the new Explore Clay mobile app, the History Passport is accessible via mobile devices.

The passport is a virtual game and works based on geo-position/location. Once visitors arrive at the location, they can virtually check-in to the location once they are within an addresses’ set radius.

This new, mobile History Passport was created in partnership with Clay County Archives, the Clay County School District and Clay County Tourism to encourage visitors and local residents of all ages to explore Clay County and learn about the region’s history.

Orange Park Guided History Tours Now Available

Get ready to learn the history of Orange Park including the mysterious stories of the monkey farm when you sign up for a one-hour guided tour with Bob Scallan of Orange Park History Tours. A member of the Orange Park Historical Society, Mr. Scallan hosts tours of Magnolia Cemetery on Kingsley Avenue and a separate one-mile walking tour through Orange Park where guests are transported back to 1877 and the early days of the town with founder Washington Gano Benedict. Younger guests can take part in a digital scavenger hunt during the one-hour tour, all while learning about the area’s history. www.orangeparkhistorytours.com

Balloon Glow and Laser Show Comes to Clay County

Get ready for a night of glowing, hot air balloons and an electric laser light show on October 25 and 26 at the Clay County Fairgrounds when the Balloon Glow and Laser Show comes to Clay County. This nighttime event includes food trucks and local vendors at this festival style event.

If a hot air balloon ride is on your bucket list, here’s your chance! Tethered balloon rides will be available both nights, so plan ahead and get ready to mark this fun activity off of your list! At 9 p.m., the sky ignites with the laser show and glowing balloons. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and find the perfect spot to watch this fun show.

Biking & Hiking Clay County 2023

Explore the Outdoors with Valiant Outfitters

New to Clay County, get ready to explore the backwoods of the area with Valiant Outfitters. Choose from beginning backpacking trip, survival course, or guided adventures from your hands-on guides.

Sign up for the Intro to Wilderness Survival Course held in Jennings State Forest this October and January. In November 2024, take part in their guided Intro to Backpacking course that takes place over two days in Jennings State Park. Opportunities for private floating adventures and private wilderness adventures are also available.

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